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Ashley Woody, left, and Nelosha Oliver wait for commencement to begin Friday evening at Cameron Stadium. The two graduate candidates showed their pride for the Class of 2014 with their decorated mortarboards.Bill W. Burgess Jr., Cameron University alumnus, Oklahoma Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, local attorney and business leader, and recently-named member of the University of Oklahoma, Cameron University and Rogers State University Board of Regents, delivers the commencement address for Cameron University’s Class of 2014 Friday evening at Cameron Stadium.A soon-to-be Cameron University graduate waves as he walks in the processional at Friday evening’s CU commencement ceremony at Cameron Stadium.

CU Class of 2014 graduates

To the accompaniment of the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance," wise words, laughter, tears and celebratory fireworks, Cameron University's Class of 2014 made the transition from students to alumni Friday night at Cameron's commencement ceremony at Cameron Stadium.

John McArthur, speaking for the first time as the university's president at a Cameron graduation, invited the candidates for graduation to look back upon their college careers and think about how they and CU have grown during that time.

"Together, we have changed," McArthur said.

He talked briefly about the many positive achievements the university has seen during the last four years, but assured them their personal transformations were even more profound.

He congratulated the graduates for completing the current phase of their educational journey and recognized the many graduates who had traveled far and overcome difficulties to earn a degree.

The commencement address was delivered by Bill W. Burgess Jr., who graduated from Cameron in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in speech. He later earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma.

Burgess is chairman of the board for Vortex, senior partner in the law firm of Burgess and Hightower, owner/publisher of The Lawton Constitution, Oklahoma Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army and a member of the University of Oklahoma, Cameron University and Rogers State University Board of Regents among his other accomplishments.

Burgess began his speech with humor by having the graduates stand and give him a standing ovation in return for a short commencement address. While he had them standing, he had them give a standing ovation to the friends and family members who had supported their long academic journey.

Burgess said he wanted to visit with the graduates about their college experiences, as they prepared to enter the competitive job market.

He told them they may not yet recognize the excellent education they have received at Cameron. He promised the graduates their education is as fine as any received by the people they will compete with for jobs.

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